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Archive for the month “September, 2010”

TEM’s College Footbal Predictions-Week 5

Well, last week I went 7-3. A little bit of a slip from the week before, but this week, I’m back on track.

Miami @ Clemson
Miami, fresh off of a win at Pittsburgh, goes on the road again against Kyle Parker and the Clemson Tigers. Miami must get improved quarterback play from JaCory Harris and also must continue to get good play out of its stable of young running backs. The Clemson defensive backs looked bad against Auburn and they are gonna be tested again with the speed of the Miami receivers. Kyle Parker must make quick decisions in the pocket because Miami’s front 4 can flat out bring it. Parker will do his best to keep Clemson in the game, but eventually the mistakes will happen with the pressure he is going to see from the Miami defensive line and the play-making skills of the Miami secondary.
Prediction: Miami 31, Clemson 17

Wisconsin vs. Michigan State
Wisconsin travels to Lansing for what will be a game focusing on one thing: the running game. The Badgers like to run the ball with RB John Clay. The big bruiser has pounded his way through defenses. Michigan State’s task is to stop the run and make Wisconsin beat you with the pass. Michigan State must run the ball to keep Wisconsin honest for their passing game. If Wisconsin can stop the run early, this will put the Spartans in 3rd-and-long situations where the pass is obvious. in the end, I don’t think the Spartans have what it take to stop John Clay and the Badgers on the ground.
Prediction: Wisconsin 24, Michigan State 17

Texas vs. Oklahoma
The Red River Rivalry takes to the new Cowboy Stadium again for their big battle. Texas must rebound from an embarrassing lost to the lowly UCLA Bruins. Texas must get Garrett Gilbert back on track and it starts with the running game, something that will be tough to do against a stingy Oklahoma defense. Someone must step up in the running game in order for Texas to be successful. Oklahoma has a ton of weapons at receiver and at running back. RB De’Marco Murray and QB Landry Jones will be the key for the offense against a Texas defense that is prone to giving up big passing plays. Texas will fight hard, but Oklahoma has too many weapons.
Prediction: Oklahoma 31, Texas 20

Stanford vs. Oregon
This game is going to be a battle. The passing attack of Andrew Luck and Stanford should cause big problems for an Oregon secondary that has yet to be tested. Oregon and its fast-break offense will be running at breakneck speed as they race up and down the field. RB LaMichael James is the key to this offense. He will hurt the slower Cardinal defense. In the end, speed kills.
Prediction: Oregon 38, Stanford 24

Penn State vs. Iowa
In this Big Ten battle, the Nittany Lions travel to the Midwest. The “Spread HD” offense has looked like bootleg cable so far. Penn State must run the football with RB Evan Royster in order for Nittany Lions to be successful. The Hawkeyes will be ready, as the Hawkeyes have a reputation for having a stingy defense. On offense, the Hawkeyes will have to lean on the running game and the timely passing of QB Ricki Stanzi. The Nittany Lions defense must stop the run in order to take Stanzi out of his comfort zone. Ultimately, I don’t think the Lions will go on the road and defeat a tough Hawkeye team.
Prediction: Iowa 20, Penn State 17

Tennessee vs. LSU
UT travels to the Bayou for this SEC tussle. RB Taurean Poole and the young offensive line of Tennessee must be effective in the running game. The LSU Tigers will be a huge challenge for them. LSU has arguably the best defense in the SEC. They will force UT to pass the football, which isn’t their strength. On offense, the Tigers must get QB Jordan Jefferson going if they plan on contending in the SEC West. Against a UT defense that will be on the field a lot, I think he will get some rhythm going just enough to put this one out of reach for UT.
Prediction: LSU 24, Tennessee 10

Vanderbilt vs. Connecticut
This running game will be key for this game. Can RBs Warren Norman, Zack Stacy and Wesley Tate run all over the Huskies like they did the Rebels a couple weeks ago? I think the track record works in their favor. The Michigan Wolverines ran the spread on UConn and they ran wild. On the other side, UConn is a team trying to find itself still and has been struggling. Perfect time for Vandy to pay them a visit.
Prediction: Vanderbilt 20, UConn 13

Kentucky vs. Mississippi State
The Wildcats are coming off a sobering loss to Florida last week and they run into a buzz saw in the form of the Bulldogs of Mississippi State. The Bulldogs will use their offense to spread the Wildcats out to create running lanes. The Wildcats will try and get the football to RB/WR/QB Randall Cobb and RB Derrick Locke as many times as possible. QB Mike Hartline’s job is just to manage the offense, but if the Mississippi State defense does their job, the game will be on his shoulders. That’s not good for the Wildcats.
Prediction: Mississippi State 23, Kentucky 13

Georgia vs. Colorado
Georgia tries to get back on the winning track by traveling to Boulder. The Buffaloes aren’t a very explosive team, but they can spread you out, which will cause some issues for the Bulldog defense. If the Bulldog defense can handle the spread look of Colorado, then they can make stops and get their offense back on the field. QB Aaron Murray gets a big weapon back in WR AJ Green. But, even with Green back, the biggest friend for Murray is the running game. If RBs Wayshaun Ealy and Caleb King play well, then Georgia will be successful.
Prediction: Georgia 24, Colorado 13

Florida vs. Alabama
In this SEC Title Game rematch, these two teams square off in Tuscaloosa. Alabama’s offense is powered by RBs Trent Richardson and Mark Ingram. If Florida is able to stop the running game, then the game will become more interesting. Another matchup that will be worth watching is WR Julio Jones vs. CB Janoris Jenkins. Jones must make plays to keep the safeties from creeping up in the box against the run. John Brantley has struggled this season and I expect that his best weapon, the running game(Jeff Demps), will be taken away by a Marcel Dareus, Dont’a Hightower and the Alabama defense. If Demps is taken away, the Tide defense can just pin its ears back and pressure the quarterback. This could be a long game for Brantley.
Prediction: Alabama 34, Florida 17

Here are my predictions for the week. If you disagree, add a comment.

Don’t Crown Them Just Yet

As this week began, NBA training camps opened up and the talk of the Heat winning the NBA championship began again. But before you crown them champs, let me remind you of a few things or teams that may hinder their chase.

The first thing that may hinder them is team chemistry. When you add three perennial 25+ point scorers to one team, there will be some adjustment time and their will be some acceptance that will need to be made by the stars of the team. Will Bosh differ to Wade and LeBron? Will LeBron differ to Bosh and Wade? Notice I didn’t say Wade differing to them because I don’t think that is going to happen on his team. If these mega-stars are capable of accepting their roles, then the other players on the team will fall in line much easier. If not, their could be a lot of in-house fighting.

Another concern would be injuries. This issue particular is a big concern in regards to Wade. Because of his reckless regard for attacking the basket, he has had a lot of bumps and bruises. If he is able to stay healthy, then obviously this point is invalid, but chances are that he will get at least one injury during the season.

Thirdly, the shooters for the Heat ( Mike Miller, James Jones, Eddie House ) must shoot the ball well. It doesn’t matter who you have on your team if you have no shooting to spread the court. These shooters must be on point for the Heat to be the dangerous team that everyone thinks they will be.

My last and final point is the competition may hinder them a lot. The Bulls upgraded with PF Carlos Boozer, SG/SF Ronnie Brewer, PG CJ Watson and SG/SF Kyle Korver to go along with PG Derek Rose, C Joakim Noah and the rest of the young Bulls. The Magic are still there and they have what the Heat don’t have, a powerful center. The Celtics may be old, but they do have championship-caliber experience and they also have one of the best defensive point guards in basketball, Rajon Rondo. And finally, the Lakers are the reigning champs and are the team to beat. And the Lakers got stronger this off-season by signing veteran PG Steve Blake and SF Matt Barnes. To be honest, the Lakers match up the best of any team in basketball with the Heat.

So, before you crown the Heat the champions of the NBA already, please understand that there will be a lot of obstacles in the way. In my estimation, I don’t think they will win the championship this year, but only time will tell.

TEM’s Ballers and Wankstas of The Week-Week 3

This weekend was pretty interesting in the NFL. Saw some good play, saw some bad play and that leads me up to the Ballers and Wankstas of Week 3 in the NFL.

Ballers of The Week

Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings ( 23 carries, 160 yards,2 TDs)
Peterson carried the offense and showed up most when his team needed him. If he can play like a beast every week, then maybe the Vikings can catch up to the Bears and the Packers.

Anquan Boldin. WR, Baltimore Ravens ( 8 receptions, 142 yards, 3 TDs)
Boldin is proving to be the best acquisition of the NFL off-season right now. He has been the most consistent player on an offense that has yet to get on track. Once the Ravens offense gets on track, watch out!

Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis Colts ( 27/43, 325 yards, 3 TDs)
He once again showed why he is the best quarterback in the game today. He had no running game all day in Denver, so he put the offense on his back and carried them to a win.

Seattle Seahawks Kickoff Return Team (101 and 99 yard kickoff returns for TDs)
If it wasn’t for the Seahawk kickoff return team, the Seahawks would not have won the game. They were responsible for 2 of the teams 3 TDs and helped out for a stagnant offense.

Wankstas of The Week

Brandon Jackson, RB, Green Bay Packers (7 carries, 12 yards, 0 TDs)
The Packers were all so confident in Jackson and said there would be no dropoff in the running game. Well, if this performance of Jackson doesn’t concern them, then I don’t know what will. The Packers may need to make a call to RB Larry Johnson.

San Francisco 49ers Receiving Corps
Anytime your leading rusher is your leading receiver, then you have problems offensively. RB Frank Gore had 9 receptions for 102 yards against the Chiefs and none of the actual receivers had over 3 catches. Something is wrong with that picture if you ask me. Maybe a change of offensive philosophy with offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye being fired will help. If not, its going to be a long season by the Bay.

David Garrard, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars ( 13/30, 105 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT)
Once again, Garrard makes my wanksta list. It just seems to me like he has lost the magic he once had. He doesn’t throw the ball down the field, he can’t move and when he does throw the football at all, the passes are either into traffic or very inaccurate. Things aren’t looking good for him when they are bringing in QBs and trying them out to be on the roster. That usually means a QB change is in the works.

San Diego Kickoff Coverage
I’ve never seen a team give up two kickoff returns like the Chargers did Sunday. KR Leon Washington probably thought he was at practice because he never really got hit or touched. Norv Turner is doing the right thing this week. He is putting some of his starters on kickoff coverage. Obviously, the special teams guys don’t take any pride in covering kicks.

These are my Ballers and Wankstas of Week 3. If you feel some other people should be on these lists, feel free to comment.

Thin Air

Tick, tick, tick. The sound you hear is the clock ticking on the clock for the Nuggets to trade Carmelo Anthony. Even though he hasn’t publicly said it, Carmelo wants out of Denver. If I were him, I would want out too.

Carmelo Anthony is considered as one of the best small forwards in basketball. He can shoot the mid-range jump shot, take the ball to the rim with authority and he can also hit the deep 3. As this off-season went on, we also noticed that he is quite the observer.

This summer has seen the Three Kings form in Miami and Amar’e Stoudamire go to the Knicks. I think Carmelo see these teams as being contenders and has seen the Denver Nuggets try to help him by bringing in Al Harrington? If Al Harrington is the best that Denver can do, then its time for Carmelo to go.

Another reason for Carmelo to leave is that the Nuggets have put money into injury-prone players(Chris Andersen, Kenyon Martin, NeNe) and have given him no consistent force to go with him. Sure, Chauncey Billups was a good pickup, but he is losing his speed to keep up with the young guards in the league.

I’m not mad at Carmelo. I blame Denver’s management. I wish he would have done something sooner. The Denver Nuggets failed in building a team that could contend around him and have a bunch of aging big men and an aging point guard. The only guy I think they made a good move for was PG Ty Lawson, but that isn’t enough.

Hopefully Denver will enjoy the press conference today. Carmelo will be cordial and nice, but in his head he keeps hearing that sound. Tick, tick, tick. Time has run out Denver.

Better Than Expected

If I gave u these stats blindly, what would you thing of this team? Leading receiver has 187 yards receiving. The team has already used two quarterbacks and the team also has no QB ranked in the top 30 in passing. You would think that this team is pretty bad and possibly 0-3 or 1-2 right? Well, if you are the Pittsburgh Steelers, then everything is just the way you want it.

Plenty of doom was expected when it was announced that Ben Roethlisberger was suspended for the first 4 games by Commissioner Roger Goodell. Well, instead of sulking, the Steelers did what they always do, showed resiliency.

The Steelers are sitting at 3-0 and are atop the AFC North. The formula they are using: defense and the running game. Defensively, the Steelers have their leader back in Troy Polamalu. Polamalu makes the extraordinary look easy and he also makes the big plays like picking off Vince Young of the Titans in the endzone last week or jumping over the line to tackle Kerry Collins. Also, James Harrison is giving lineman fits. He is everywhere on the field and has to be accounted for. And the linebacker that has also become a force for them is Lawrence Timmons. He leads the team in tackles with 33 and he has to be accounted for as well. But, the main factor for the defense is defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. He has the Steelers playing at a fever pitch and he always has a good plan of attack for every week. LeBeau has the Steelers defense on allowing ony 11 points per game.

On offense, the plan is simple: Give the ball to Rashard Mendenhall. Mendenhall has been a beast in th backfield(332 yards, 2 TDs). Even when teams know he is going to carry the ball, he still gets yards. Other than Mendenhall, the offense really hasn’t been all that impressive. Mendenhall is the offensive MVP.

I, for one, have to apologize to the Steelers. I didn’t think they could get it done, but in the end, you have to consider the black and gold in the AFC Championship picture. They do it the old fashion way, running the ball and playing stingy defense.

TEM’s NFL Football Predictions-Week 3

Another week, another slate of good NFL action. Last week was a good week for NFL action, but this week could be better! Without further ado, here are my picks for Week 3.

San Francisco vs. Kansas City
The 49ers are in a must-win situation this week. I expect them to come out fighting and clawing and ready to prove a point. In order for them to win, QB Alex Smith must continue to utilize his weapons and RB Frank Gore must get at least 20 carries. The 49er offense also must not shhot itself in the foot this week like they did against the Saints(4 turnovers). For the Chiefs,QB Matt Cassel must start playing to expectations for them to maintain the success that they have had early. The 49ers must account for RB/WR Dexter McCluster as well. In the end, the 49ers defense is too good and Cassel will have to wait to next week to get back on track.
Prediction: San Francisco by 4

Detroit @ Minnesota
Detroit is coming off a tough loss to the Eagles where RB Jahvid Best had some bringing up Barry Sanders after his performance. This week, I don’t think Barry Sanders will be spoken as the Vikings have the Williams boys up front to stop the run. This will put the game in the hands of QB Shaun Hill, which is exactly what DE Jarrett Allen of the Vkings wants to see. Brett Farve and the offense should get on track this week against one of the worst defenses in the NFL. I look to see a heavy dose of RB Adrian Peterson and timely passing by Farve in this one.
Prediction: Vikings by 10

Buffalo vs. New England
Buffalo never showed up last week to play as they got steam-rolled by the Packers. This week, they turn to Ryan Fitzpatrick to lead their offense. Different quarterback, but the same results this week. The New England defense will jump all over the Bills, giving Tom Brady more chances to gash an inept defense. It could get ugly for Buffalo in New England.
Prediction: New Englad by 14

Atlanta vs. New Orleans
This game will be one of the best matchups of week 3. The up-and-coming Falcons will pit their running game against the opportunistic Saints defense. I look for the Saints to see a heavy dose of Michael Turner, or if he doesn’t play Jason Snelling. The more time the Falcons offense is on the field, the less time Drew Brees has to sift through the Atlanta defense. Atlanta’s doesn’t make many mistakes on offense, so turnovers woll be at a premium and the Atlanta defense has played very well so far. Drew Brees will play well, but he simply will not have as much time on the field as the Falcons to make plays.
Prediction: Atlanta by 3

Tennessee vs, New York Giants
The Titans and Giants come in after disappointing performances last week. The Giants’ secondary hasn’t lived up to expectations this year and that leads directly to the production of the defensive line. The Giants must get production out of their front four for them to be a good defense. I’m sure Keith Bullock has given them a good scouting report for the Giants this week as he plays his former team for the 1st time. If the Titans can sustain blocks and block the rush, the Titans and the VY/CJ show could be on full display. The Titans defense face their biggest test to date as the Giants come in with 3 playmakers at reciver in Steve Smith, Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks. For the Giants to be successful, they must run the football so that they can set up the pass, but I do not think they will get it done versus a hungry and aggressive Titan defense. Titans get back on track this week.
Prediction: Tennessee by 7

Pittsburgh vs. Tampa Bay
This game matches a pair of teams that are exceeding expectations so far. The Pittsburgh defense is carrying the Steelers right now. Its tough for me to see Josh Freeman and the Buccaneer offense getting anything done. They must attempt to run the ball to at least keep the safeties off the line of scrimmage. The Steelers are running the ball with Rashard Mendenhall. He has been the one spark to an otheriwse dull offense. This week, expect an ugly ballgame here. Lots of running the ball and a lot of defense. I think the Steelers do both better this game.
Prediction: Pittsburgh by 4

Cincinnati vs. Carolina
The Bengals come off an ugly win against the Ravens last week. This week shouldn’t be as tough. The Panther defense plays hard, but they just don’t have the players to match up with them. RB Cedric Benson should see a bigger role in this game than the previous two. QB Jimmy Clausen is making his first start for the Panthers. This could be a long day for Clausen.
Prediction: Cincinnati by 10

Cleveland vs. Baltimore
The Browns take their anemic offense on the road. Last week, QB Seneca Wallace stepped in for QB Jake Delhomme and continued to bore us. And this week shouldn’t be any different. LB Ray Lewis is still playing at a high level and the Ravens defense is looking as good as it has ever looked. This game also should be a good game for QB Joe Flacco to start and get some momentum going as he hasn’t performed up to the level needed for this team to reach its potential. The Browns should make him look good. Another long game for the Browns.
Prediction: Baltimore by 10

Dallas vs. Houston
The Battle of Texas fearures two teams going in opposite direction. The Texans have looked like a machine on offense. If it isn’t WR Andre Johnsonn then it WR Kevin Walters. If it isn’t those two, then its TE Owen Daniels and then you still have Arian Foster running the ball in the backfield as well. Dallas will have to be physical against the run with NT Jay Ratliff and force the Texans to get in pass mode so LB DeMarcus Ware can pursue the quaterback. The Cowboys have to find an identity this game. I think the running game and the three-headed monster of RB Marion Barber, RB Felix Jones and RB Tashard Choice will be key in this game. The Cowboys must run the football to make Tony Romo and the passing game be more effective. Its now or never for the Cowboys and 0-3 isn’t an option.
Prediction: Dallas by 7

Washington vs. St. Louis
This should be a somewhat interesting game. The Redskins come into St. Louis to face a team that scratches and claws on defense and offense. The Redskins must shake off the disappointment of last week in order to win this game. Donovan McNabb should continue his mastery of defenses, but he will beed help from RB Clinton Portis and RB Keiland Williams must provide support. Sam Bradford must continue to grow and show effort, but the defense he is facing could limit his growth and accuracy as a quarterback. LB London Fletcher leads a veteran and saavy group that will scheme and disguise things just for Bradford. Bradford will be good, but McNabb will be better.
Prediction: Washington by 7

Philadelphia vs. Jacksonville
This game pits a shredded Jaguar defense against arguably the most dangerous quarterback in the game , QB Michael Vick. Vick returned to his old form when he used his wheels and arm to will the Eagles offense. This week, the Jaguars do not have the DBs to keep up with WR DeSean Jackson and WR Jeremy Maclin.if the Jaguars offense shows up like last week, they are gonna wish they had mailed it in this week. QB David Garrard and RB Maurice Jones-Drew must carry this offense in order for them to be succesful.
Prediction: Philadelphia by 5

Indianapolis vs. Denver
Peyton heads to the Mile High City for a showdown. Only thing is, Champ Bailey may not play. This may spell doom for the Broncos defense. Also, the LBs for the Broncos better be ready for a good dose of Joseph Addai and Donald Brown. QB Kyle Orton has started to feel his groove and use what is around him. Orton’s line will have a huge test trying to block DE Dwight Freeney and DE Robert Mathis. These two disruptors will lead a resurgent Colts defense and the embarrassment of the first week will cause the Colts to come out and play with fire.
Prediction: Indianapolis by 10

Oakland vs. Arizona
The Raiders are possibly the most uneventful team in football besides the team their playing, the Arizona Cardinals. New QB Bruce Gradkowski must spread the wealth for the Raiders offense for them to win. RB Darren McFadden will be the most key of all the guys that Gradkowski gets involved. Hopefully, SS Adrian Wilson has been doing his homework and will come out fired up on defense because of the disappointing game versus the Falcons. Derek Andersen must begin to settle in so that he can use WR Larry Fitzgerald. This should be the game because the Raiders defense os atrocious.
Prediction: Arizona by 4

San Diego vs. Seattle
San Diego is looking better after the 1st week loss. TE Antonio Gates has taken over as the number one person that QB Phillip Rivers looks for and the running game has become more solid this year. The Merriman/ Phillips linebacker combination hasn’t been nearly as productive this year. I believe that the pressure of this game and the 12th man in Seattle will not rattle this savvy team led by veterans. Are the Seahawks the team we saw upset the 49ers or the team that showed up in Denver. I think they are the latter.
Prediction: San Diego by 7

New York Jets vs. Miami Dolphins
The Jets relieved some pressure by going out and beating the Jets last week and they now go to Miami. These teams do not like each other very much and no love has been lost. The Jets got going on offense last week and QB Mark Sanchez looked like the guy all the Jets’ brass thought he could be. He will need to be that guy once again this week because the Dolphins are playing well defensively. RB LaDanlian Tomlinson may make the difference this week if the Jets can block everyone. Chad Henne should have a tough challenge this game as well. If his running game is active and doing well, then Henne should have time to complete passes to WR Brandon Marshall, provided he can get free of DB Antonio Cromartie. The Jets did get a big win last week, but winning a big game on the road is a totally different beast altogether.
Prediction: Dolphins by 4

Green Bay vs. Chicago
The Pack head to Soldier Field where the Bears await their arrival. QB jay Cutler has been carrying the offense this year so far, but he will need help in the form of the running game and RB Matt Forte. He has been a force in the passing game, but if he isn’t a force in the running game, then Cutler will be running for his life from LB Clay Matthews. The Pack defense will cause Cutler problems all night. On the other side of the ball, QB Aaron Rogers should have a field day if and only if his line holds up. If the line cannot keep the likes of DE Julius Peppers and DT Tommie Harris out of the backfield, then Rogers will havea long day picking himself up off the ground. The game comes down to who will get the better support and the better protection. Advantage: Packers.
Prediction: Green Bay by 7


Vincent Jackson is a wide receiver for the San Diego Chargers. Right now he is sitting at home, bitter at an organization and waiting on what he feels is owed to him. For those that don’t know, here is the story of Vincent Jackson.

Jackson enjoyed his best season as a pro last year(68 receptions, 1167 yards, 9 TDs) and he was slowly becoming one of the top receivers in the NFL. He went into this off-season wanting to secure his future and wanted to get paid like a top-flight wide receiver. And this is when all the trouble started happening.

Jackson and his agent began negotiations with Chargers’ GM A.J. Smith. Smith refused to even negotiate a new deal with Jackson and the best he wanted to do was give his best receiver a one year tender of $3.268 million. Jackson and his agent could not believe that an organization that he loved playing for would do this to him. Then, Jackson made the big decision to play hardball with Smith and sit out until he could either get a new deal or get traded.

This wouldn’t be that big of a story if it weren’t for the fact that the Chargers and AJ Smith have a propensity for doing things like this. It seems to me that Smith has now taken this issue personally. He is asking for a 2nd and 3rd round draft pick for Jackson, but he isn’t even speaking with Jackson and his agent, nor has he even taken calls for twams that may be willing to give what he wants. In fact, their have been a couple deals that have been put in place by the agent, but Smith has killed them both.

The NFLPA stepped in and tried to help Jackson, who is facing a suspension when he is traded. That help got met with big resistance as the Vikings were stone-walled again by Smith. As a result of this, Jackson and his agent have been venting and are upset at the organization’s unwillingness to assist or at least take the personal feelings out of this situation.

So, here Vincent Jackson sits, waiting and wondering when his next chance will be to score a touchdown or make a big play.

Issues like this make the Chargers look bad. If someone doesn’t want to be somewhere, why keep them there? I think that because of all this foolishness, A.J. Smith a.k.a.” The Lord of No Rings as he is called, needs to be taken out of his position of power because obviously his emotion has taken over his sense of business. Until that happens, this guy will continue to operate his slimy way of business and set up another player the way he has set up Jackson.

TEM’s College Football Predictions-Week 4

Well, last week was a good week in predictions. But, this week is a new week and its time to start the weekend off with a bang!
Here are the predictions for Week 4 of college football.

Miami vs. Pittsburgh
Miami, still smarting from the loss to Ohio State, will travel to Pittsburgh this week. QB JaCory Harris is key in this game. As he goes, so goes the Miami offense. He must play well against a Panther defense that has not looked so good this year against the pass. The Panthers ride the back of RB Dion Lewis. He is their superstar and he must perform well for the Panthers to win. But, my money is on the Miami defense to make plays and give more opportunites for their return game to make a big play. I see Miami learning from their last road trip and making a step in the positive direction this week.
Prediction: Miami 24, Pittsburgh 17

UCLA vs. Texas
UCLA makes a roadtrip to Texas as a team still in search of an offensive leader. Kevin Prince was thought to be the guy at QB, but after a couple games, he still hasn’t been able to get it figured out. If he starts, I don’t think this will be the game he will get it together. This Texas defense is angry and ready to make up for some of the mistakes of last week. As far Texas, QB Garrett Gilbert took a step towards becoming the star that everyone thinks he is going to be last week, leading the big drive in the 4th quarter. I see him making even more progress this week and taking even more control of this offense. UCLA, you may be in serious trouble.
Prediction: Texas 38, UCLA 21

Alabama vs. Arkansas
This is one of the biggest games in Razorback history as the number 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide roll into town. This game will be a game of tests. The Alabama offense and there combination of RB Trent Richardson and RB Mark Ingram will severely test what is thought to be a better Razorback defense. The Razorback secondary will get a big test with the likes of Julio Jones and Marquis Maze and the passing attack of the Tide. As far as the Alabama defense, the running game of the Razorbacks shouldn’t threaten the Tide that much, but an unproven secondary will get a big test with QB Ryan Mallett and the stable of talented Arkansas receivers. Ultimately, the pressure the Tide defensive line will produce with DL Marcel Dareus will be the difference in which test is passed on Saturday.
Prediction: Alabama 28, Arkansas 17

Stanford vs. Notre Dame
Jim Harbaugh takes his Cardinal team into South Bend for what should be an entertaining game. Andrew Luck is one of the many talented QBs in the PAC-10 and his accuracy should cause many issues for a Irish defense that has had trouble stopping people this year. QB Dane Chist will lead the Irish offense against a tough Cardinal defense. I expect this game to be pretty offensive, but in the end, the Cardinal will rule.
Prediction: Stanford 34, Notre Dame 27

Kentucky vs. Florida
Kentucky is headed to the Swamp to take on a Gator squad coming off a big win at Rocky Top. For the Wildcats, the mission is simple: Shut down Jeff Demps. Jeff Demps is the Chris Johnson of the SEC. You can only hold him down for so long before he produces a big run. If Kentucky can somehow corral him on defense, this game could be interesting. For the Gators, they must know where Randall Cobb is at all times. He may line up at QB as well as receiver and running back. If he is contained, the revolving door that is the quarterback position at Kentucky should not threaten a fiesty Florida defense. I like the odds of Florida shutting down Cobb more than Kentucky shutting down Demps.
Prediction: Florida 28, Kentucky 13

South Carolina vs. Auburn
South Carolina takes their show on the road for what is sure to be a big challenge on the Plains. RB Marcus Lattimore has been instrumental in the balance and the strength that the Gamecock offense has shown, but this game will be won by QB Steven Garcia. The Auburn secondary got taken advantage of by Clemson last week and this week, the Tigers have to take on the likes of Alsheron Jeffrey. The Gamecock defense takes on QB Cameron Newton and an explosive Auburn offense. Newton proved he could make the big throws, but in this game he must be able to use his feet to threaten the defense. In the end the playmakers of the Gamecock offense will overpower the Tigers.
Prediction: South Carolina 24, Auburn 20

Oregon State vs. Boise State
In what is supposed to be the 2nd big game of the year for the Broncos, the Beavers of Oregon bring their explosive offense to Idaho. The combination of RB Jacquizz Rogers and WR James Rogers will pose an issue for the Broncos defense. The Broncos defense should be up for the challenge. The defense of the Beavers should be in for the ride of their lives with the offense that the Broncos bring to the table. The home crowd and the blue turf will engulf the Beavers.
Prediction: Boise State 31, Oregon State 10

West Virginia vs. LSU
The Mountaineers make a road trip to the Bayou this week. The combo of WR Jock Sanders and RB Noel Devine will have to carry the offense against a tough Tiger defense. The biggest question in this game will be how will LSU score? The quarterback position is unsettled because of the inconsistencies of the Jordan Jefferson and the inconsistencies of the WRs. One thing is for sure about LSU though, if they get the ball in the hands of Russell Sheppard, good things will happen.
Prediction: LSU 24, West Virginia 17

UAB vs. Tennessee
Tennessee comes back to play after two highly emotional games. UAB will be ready to play, as they will be coming off and emotional high from their win last week. The difference in this game will be RB Taurean Poole. If he can get going against a porous run defense, the whole Vol offense should be better this week.
Prediction: UT 31, UAB 13

Georgia vs. Mississippi State
Georgia is reeling after two straight SEC losses. Aaron Murray is the key to the Bulldog offense. The big thing for him is that he must not get rattled this weekend on the road when the cowbells start ringing. The running game with RB Washun Ealy should assist in making Murray comfortable. The Georgia defense should get a big test because of the pace that Coach Dan Mullen created for the Mississippi State offense. The Bulldog offense may look better this week, but I don’t think their defense will allow them to overcome and win in Starkville.
Prediction: Mississippi State 24, Georgia 20

The Eagle Has Landed

Andy Reid, head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, announced yesterday that because of the play of Michael Vick, Vick will be the starter for the Eagles “until further notice”. A lot of NFL Insiders are saying its a decision that will stand for the rest of the year. This is big for Michael Vick. Just consider where he has come from.

In 2006, Michael Vick was a brash, super-talented quarterback who was carrying the Atlanta Falcons with his leg and arm. Then, like a tidal wave, his world came crashing down. News came out of a suspected dog-fighting operation at his home in Virginia. His home was raided and as many know, dog remains among other disturbing things were found. Vick was brought before federal court and was eventually sentenced to 18 months in jail for his role in the operation. At this point, saying Michael Vick’s name was worse than saying a curse word and he was catching more fire about his personal choices than he used to about his decisions in jail. The Falcons came after the signing bonus they gave him and creditors came after him as well.

Fast forward to July 2008. At this time, Michael Vick had just got off of house arrest and he was waiting on someone to give him a chance to live his dream again. Lots of people in the NFL were saying that because of his past dealings and the timing of Vick being taken off house arrest, he would not be playing in the NFL in 2009. Then, while sitting at home in Virginia, Vick received a call from the Eagles’ brass. Andy Reid and the executives had decided to take a look at the former big-time star. The Eagles, who took a lot of flack from its fans for even considering Vick, eventually signed him, even though they had Donovan McNabb.

Coming into this year, a lot of people felt that Vick should be the starter with McNabb having been traded to the Redskins. Vick, who was once a brash individual with a cocky edge to him, acknowledged that Kolb is the quarterback of the Eagles and that he is a backup. Then, in a flash, Kolb gets hurt and its time for The Michael Vick Experience again. Vick almost leads the Eagles back to a win against the Packers and then he goes out last week and leads the Eagles to the win with his spectacular play. Vick could have been his past self and tooted his own horn, but he again said that the team is Kolb’s team and he is the starter for this team.

Now as you all know, Michael Vick has been named the starter, but that isn’t the biggest story coming out of this happening. The biggest issue is the transformation that Michael Vick has made. He has transformed himself from the brash, cocky, arrogant quarterback he was in Atlanta to the confident, thankful guy who is appreciative of what gifts and blessing have been bestowed upon him. Quite frankly, this decision should have been made at the beginning of the season, but it all worked out for a man who has changed his life and his outlook after hitting rock bottom in his life.

Pressures of The NFL

My deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends of Kenny McKinley. For those who haven’t heard, the Broncos wide receiver was found at his home in Colorado around 3:30 PM. The police are saying that he was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

McKinley was a 4-year starter at South Carolina during his collegiate days, where he earned All-SEC honors. He played in 8 games last year before being placed on the Injured Reserve List with a knee injury. McKinley was also placed on the IR for this year as well because of his knee not fully recovering yet. He was 23 years old.

Stories like these show you the pressures of pro sports. To the everyday fan, its just a game, but to most who play in the NFL, the game is life. We don’t know the specifics as to why McKinley apparently committed suicide, but in my estimation, the pressures of playing eventually ate him up. The thing that I want more people to get out of this article is that no matter how famous or blessed athletically someone is, they are still human. Human beings go through ups and downs and athletes are no different.

The thing that people don’t realize is that in the NFL, you are more isolated than u would be at a college or high school level, so you have no one to talk to or relate to readily available. And the pride issue and the disappointment of what he thought he should be doing at this point in his career were eating at him. If he would have set his pride down and not took everything on his shoulders, I think everything would have gotten worked out. He did something that a lot of athletes do, not talking about their issues and letting pride get in the way.

So, in closing, people who constantly ride athletes, maybe we need to step back and realize that these people are human beings just like us and even though we may be upset with how they play, we still have to build them up as well. Support is always needed. This happening was a wakeup call.

R.I.P. Kenny McKinley

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